A new ShopRite in Southern New Jersey will ensure that Atlantic City is no longer a food desert.
It took more than luck for a new supermarket to come to Atlantic City, N.J. Government agencies and a family-run retail company have come together to develop a ShopRite store a few blocks from local casinos.
While a popular destination for visitors, the community has been considered a food desert since the last grocery store closed 15 years ago. This week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Chair Modia Butler and Village Super Market, Inc. EVP Bill Sumas ceremonially broke ground on the project, made possible with nearly $19 million in public funds.
The state of New Jersey owns the land, and the building will be owned by the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The store will be operated by Village Super Market, Inc., which runs 29 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as three Gourmet Garage specialty markets and five Fairway Market stores in New York City. The publicly-traded grocer is part of the Wakefern Food co-op and is operated by the Sumas family.
"Village Super Market is proud to continue our 84-year tradition of helping families live better by bringing a 44,000-square foot state-of-the-art supermarket to the community,” said Bill Sumas, board chair for Village Super Market. “The new store will allow neighborhood residents access to fresh food and everything they need for a full first class shopping experience to feed their family right here in Atlantic City.”
Murphy said that the store has been a long time coming. “Atlantic City residents should not have to leave town in order to shop for groceries for themselves and their families," the governor remarked. “Our administration, the CRDA, Mayor Small and others have been working long and hard to make today a possibility, and I am happy to be standing today alongside our partners to break ground on a brand-new ShopRite for Atlantic City.”
According to information released by the governor’s office, the building will include a ground floor retail supermarket and a mezzanine for administrative support. Construction will begin in 2022 and is estimated to take 13 to 15 months to complete.
The largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 363 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The company is No. 23 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.